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Keytop Damage

  • 1.  Keytop Damage

    Posted 06-28-2018 11:55

    Wondering if anyone has seen this type of damage to plastic keytops before?  I think I've seen it once before on an older piano and didn't think much of it.  However, this is a newer Ritmuller grand (a 4 year old GH170).  The problem is only on keys in the midrange E3 to B5.  The problem is gouges in the plastic and is only present on the "tail" section of the keys, not on the "head".  If it was something particular to the owner, I think I'd expect to see the problem over the entire keytop (he assures me he keeps his fingernails well trimmed).  Any thoughts on this? Thanks.





    Registered Piano Technician

    Mitchell Piano Service


    (415) 994-1030


  • 2.  RE: Keytop Damage

    Posted 06-28-2018 13:39

    I had that happen to keytops I got from Vagias may years ago.

    I'm not positive, but my speculation is that the hand cream the piano player uses interacts with the plastic.

    Willem "Wim" Blees, RPT
    Mililani, HI 96789

  • 3.  RE: Keytop Damage

    Posted 06-29-2018 03:03
    Yes, I have seen this damage on many pianos, butt I always assumed it was from heavy use and fingernails.  Perhaps this is occurring from acrylic fingernails wearing out the key top material faster than normal finger nails or finger tips?

    Blaine Hebert
    Duarte CA

  • 4.  RE: Keytop Damage

    Posted 06-29-2018 09:30
    is the damage like chip outs ? anyone in the house have drumsticks ? it looks like damage done to the key blocks of a baldwin grand here done by an overzealous snare drummer. either that or edward scissorhands was playing

    James Kelly
    Pawleys Island SC

  • 5.  RE: Keytop Damage

    Posted 06-29-2018 18:48
    Had a customer with that. Turns out the previous tuner lovers to put his tools and stuff on the keys. Hard metal vs plastic.

    side note, how do you guys go around fixing it. I've been using the arcrlikey stuff from pianotek plus some good dremel polishing. It's not great but gets the job done.

  • 6.  RE: Keytop Damage

    Posted 06-30-2018 11:09
    The owner is very gentle - very respectful of the piano and I don't think there are any kids around.  So I'm suspicious of a manufacturing problem with the plastic keytops.  Perhaps an issue that left defects in the plastic or caused it to be too brittle.

    Pearl River denys any knowledge of similar problems, but they did provide a set of matching replacement tops that I'll be putting on this weekend.

    Rob Mitchell, RPT
    San Francisco CA

  • 7.  RE: Keytop Damage

    Posted 07-01-2018 12:36
    This damage might have occurred if acetone (fingernail polish) had been used to clean the surface of the keytops. That can easily etch some plastics.
    ~ jeannie

    Jeannie Grassi, Registered Piano Technician
    Island Piano Service
    Bainbridge Island, WA